According to United States Department of Justice statistics – Uniform Crime Report and Bureau Statistic

  • 89.0% of those arrested for all violent crimes were men.
  • 87.5% of those arrested for murder were men.
  • 98.8% of forcible rapes we committed by men.
  • 91.9% of robberies were committed by men.
  • 86.7% of those arrested for aggravated assaults were men.
  • 92.2% of those arrested for sex offenses (not rape or prostitution) were men.
  • Wars are instigated and generally carried out by men (although this number has changed significantly in the last decade).

Training to be a man = Training to be violent

Virtually every man has experienced violence in his life and is trained to use violence for resolving conflict if he deems it necessary.  Most men has engaged in fist fights, verbal threats, pushing, shoving, grabbing, or intimidation.  For almost all men the use of physical force to resolve conflict is an option that they have experienced in at least one of three ways: (1) they have used physical force to win something, (2) they have been victims of physical force, or (3) they have seen someone use physical force.  Violence for men is a common experience and under many circumstances some men view violence as an acceptable response to a threat from either men or women.  The threat need not be physical harm; it could be a threat to self-worth, self-esteem, security, or person ambitions.  Acknowledging violence as “normal” male behavior is important for the understanding of dating/domestic violence.

Two reasons for male violence

The process of molding violent men begins very early and is a pattern of development our society considers normal.  First, almost all societies want men to have the potential to use physical force as a legitimate means to resolve conflict.  Societies sanction violence in specific circumstances such as war, police activities, defense of family and self, and sports.  Historically men have trained to wage war in order to protect family, clan, city and state or to expand the domain that each family, clan, city or state controls.  Whether it is used for protection or expansion, violence helps ensure the survival of the culture for which men fight.  And for thousands of years, men have been willing to to risk death or dismemberment to protect their cultures.  several conditions enable men to go to war and kill or be killed (We’ll explore these conditions in another post).  Training for violence starts within the family and with the games of adulthood.

The second reason for male violence is that many men have been given neither the means to determine acceptable boundaries for violence nor have they been given the tools to resolve conflict without resorting to coercion.  Many men come from families that injure rather than protect.   These men are left with a pervasive sense of alienation, loneliness, inadequacy, mistrust, and fear, and they have no adequate means of coping with these feelings.

Men who were abuse as children, i.e. were victims of violence inflicted by their families, are unable to establish acceptable personal boundaries for themselves or others and frequently feel threats to their self-worth as threats to their survival.  When abusive men perceive themselves as threatened, hence endangered by emotional conflict, they do all they can to win and survive.   If they cannot assure emotional survival by lesser means, they will use violence.